Design Vomit

Recently I have noticed a dramatic Increase in design vomit. (For those of you who are not familiar with the term, “design vomit” is simply a complete waste of space. Design vomit can occur anywhere there is advertising…online, in a magazine or even on a billboard. Sure the information you need may be on the advertisement, but if it takes you more that a few seconds to figure out what the ad is for the ad is completely useless. I am not sure why I keep seeing more and more of this – maybe people are getting cheap and to cut corners, they are implementing a DIY attitude so they don’t have to pay a professional.

People are all good at different things. For example when your sewer is leaking you call a plumber, you wouldn’t call me.  When you need a ride home from the bar you would not call the maintenance man at your apartment complex, you would call a cab. Instead of fixing that leak yourself call a professional and let them do it the right way. Advertising is just as important.  It may be the first (and only) thing your customers see. Don’t hold it together with duct tape and rubber cement like your plumbing.

For those of you who are better visual learners (like me), I have gathered some examples of the good, the bad, and the ugly. The first example is an ad I had found in a playbill for a concert. Actually, I should say “three ads I found in a playbill.”  If you look closely, you can tell that there is an ad for three different businesses represented on this page. This is a very good example of design Vomit.

This one, I found in a local publication.  It is supposed to be the calendar of events. Unfortunately, you cannot read anything that is on this page, because of the bad choice of background color, typeface, and even the color of the type.  It looks as though somebody threw this on the page with no consideration for any of the viewers that would actually like to use this very useful tool.

If you think your materials look like “design vomit,” or you think you can save a little money by doing design work yourself, let’s talk.

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